This World Is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too

This World Is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too

This World Is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too
Title: This World Is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too
Artist: Humaira Abid
Date: 2017
Materials: Swing: Pine wood, carved; Plexiglas, wire, epoxy putty, paint. Shoes: Pine wood, carved; red wood stain. Painting: Gouache and pigments on handmade wasli paper
Dimensions: Swing: 120 (adjustable) x 36 x 36. Shoes: 3 x 6 x 2.5 (each). Painting: Painting, unframed: 6.5 x 13.25
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Artist Statement:

In a romantic yet wry twist on Mughal miniature painting tradition, a young girl is depicted at leisure in a lush garden. The scene is appealing and decorative, portraying a world that seems peaceful and secure. A closer look, however, reveals that the landscaped and cultivated garden in which she frolics is populated by cacti and thorny plants, while beyond this patch of flowering beauty lurks a dark forest that conceals a world of secrets. This environment is seductive and also treacherous, beautiful and dangerous too.

The tragic fate of Khaula Bibi, killed on her first day of school in the 2014 Peshawar School Massacre, provided the launch point for this work and inspired Abid to connect her own experience as the mother of her young daughter to the universal condition of motherhood: the need to believe that a safe future—full of promise and wonder—awaits her child, beyond the uncertainty of the present.